Life & Arts

Entertainment, live performance, food, cuisine, dining, theater, film, television, art, broadcasting, SXSW, and other arts and culture news in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

CREDIT TEXASRANGERREGISTER.ORG

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Christine Nix, assistant professor and program coordinator of Criminal Justice at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and the first African-American female Texas Ranger.

Nix talks about being the first African-American woman hired by the Rangers, spending time in the Army Reserves and her 25 years in law enforcement.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Sandra Molinari and Lisa Pous are friends and co-workers at the SAFE Alliance, which serves the survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. But when they met, Sandra was a staff member at SafePlace and Lisa was a client. They sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth to talk about their relationship and their history.

From Austin Youth River Watch, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:  

Austin Youth River Watch transforms and inspires youth through environmental education, community engagement, and adventure. As a result of our work, youth are better prepared to create positive outcomes for themselves and the environment, ensuring a better future for all.

Jake O'Hare for KUTX

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition.  

Playwright Lisa B. Thompson wrote the play Monroe in the nineties, when she was still a graduate student. For years, the work went unproduced, largely because Thompson herself overlooked it, thinking of it, in her words, as "an early play... how good could it be?"

But that changed earlier this year when Thompson finally revisited the play, which is set in rural Louisiana during the Great Migration. "I had a good friend in California who kept saying to me, 'What about Monroe? Send it out! Send it out!,' and I'm glad I listened," Thompson says. 

Monroe became one of the winners of Austin Playhouse's 2018 New Play Festival, and was chosen by artistic director Lara Toner Haddock to open its 2018-2019 season. She's directing the world premiere production.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Brian J. Miles, board-certified urologist with Houston Methodist Hospital and Victor Murray, a prostate cancer patient. 

Each year more than 200,000 men are  diagnosed with prostate cancer, with most cases affecting African-American men 65 and older. 

Dr. Miles and Murray talk about prostate cancer and how less invasive procedure to treat it is cutting down on recovery times.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Close friends Emily Seales and Stacey Thompson sat down with each other in the StoryCorps mobile booth to talk about their friendship, and how they’ve bonded during the weekly walks they’ve taken together over the past several years.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Aug. 24, 2018

Aug 24, 2018
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition.  

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with gospel recording artist Veronica Brown, who travels the world uplifting and encouraging audiences of all nationalities and faiths.

Brown talks about growing up in Detroit, representing the USO overseas, moving from secular music to gospel and singing with Aretha Franklin.

"For the past little-over-a-year, I've been inspired by this house that's the Smoot Mansion," says artist Valerie Fowler. "Now it's called the Flower Hill Foundation and it's a historic Austin home, right on West Sixth Street, that's becoming a museum."

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Vanessa Lozano-Sanchez spent some time in the StoryCorps mobile booth with her mother, Marión Sanchez. Marión was born in Venezuela and came to the United States as a teenager in the 1980s.

"It's not personal experience for me," playwright Raul Garza says of his new work, There and Back. "But it's a story that's told from a personal point of view, as opposed to something about statistics or policy only."

With There and Back, Garza is attempting to give a human face to the story of immigration. "Obviously -- obviously if you could see and the group -- that's the background that I'm from, Mexican-American. But the experience that we see in the play is not one that I had directly. It's one I saw a lot growing up. It's one that a lot of us, especially from South Texas and Central Texas see in our everyday lives. But we never really get to look at it closely from the viewpoint of the person experiencing it firsthand."

University of Texas

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Leonard N. Moore, vice president for diversity and community engagement and professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.

Moore talks about growing up in Cleveland, his new position as director of the DDCE, the study aboard program, and his love of teaching.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Erin Willig sat down in the mobile booth with her husband Mark Schoenfeld. They shared a remembrance of Erin’s schoolteacher father, Mark Hayden Willig, who passed away about a year before this conversation was recorded.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Aug. 10, 2018

Aug 10, 2018
Eddie Gaspar for KUTX

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition.

Courtesy of SKAM Austin

SKAM Austin is a typical teen drama in a lot of ways. There are hookups, breakups, cattiness and plenty of awkwardness. But, while the drama itself may walk a well-tread path, the path the show takes to reach its viewers is anything but. 

ESPN

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks Howard Bryant, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine,  sports correspondent for NPR's Weekend Edition, and author of The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Aug. 3, 2018

Aug 3, 2018
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Esta es la historia de Arlette de la Serna y Marcel del Río. Un matrimonio que habla de lo que han aprendido en sus viajes por el mundo.

Arlette de la Serna sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth with her husband, Marcel del Rio. They talked about their travels, the different places they’ve lived, and what they’ve learned along the way. This interview was conducted in Spanish, but for our non-Spanish speaking listeners, a full English translation is available below.

The Life And Legacy Of Architect John Saunders Chase

Aug 1, 2018
The University of Texas at Austin

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. revisits a conversation with the late John Saunders Chase, the first African-American to enroll and graduate at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and the first African-American president of The Texas Exes.

Andy St. Martin

This weekend (and this weekend only), artist Andy St. Martin is showing a collection of new works at Prizer Arts & Letters. "The last year or two, I've decided to try and focus on working on paper," St. Martin says. "And I don't have to prepare that so much -- it's almost like making watercolors. You get the paper out [and] if you have the paint, you can go to work."

From Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:  

Did you know that live music is not only part of Austin's cultural identity, but also an essential economic engine for our city, bringing in billions of dollars through live performances each year? In maintaining this vital identity, it is important for us, as a community, to ensure our musicians are alive and well, and able to keep playing that music we all love.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Sisters Tiffany and Tara Lee sat down together in the StoryCorps mobile booth to share some memories of their mother and grandmother, and to talk about their close sibling bond.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, July 27, 2018

Jul 27, 2018
Emily Jan/NPR

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

On Monday, Julie Brown heard a voice beckoning her to get a piece of pie.

She listened, stopping at The Frisco on Burnet Road and ordering a piece of coconut pie – just like her parents did when they first met decades ago.

"On all fronts, I've been affected by gentrification," says Zell Miller III. "As a teacher who has a kid who lives in Kyle, or they live in Del Valle. ... I've got kids from Round Rock, man, because their families cannot afford rent anywhere in the city."

Miller, who's an educator by day and also a multifaceted writer and performer, has seen the effects of gentrification for years in Austin, and that worries him. 

"And I know that what tends to happen... when they begin to gentrify areas is that you get over-policing of a particular area, so then you have that issue going on," Miller says. "So all of those aspects caused me to write this show."

Mindy Tucker

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams, stand-up comedian, actress and author of Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat.

Williams talks about her journey growing up in an illegal liquor house, being shot twice, selling drugs and turning her life around.

 

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Chris Kirk sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth with his father, Randy Kirk. Chris was interested in hearing more about what he considers an “almost mythical” period in his father’s life — the years between Randy’s graduation from UT in 1967 and Chris’s birth in 1974.

Jonathon Zemek Takes A Trip To 'Hillcrest'

Jul 20, 2018

"It came from a desire to be more collaborative," says Jonathon Zemek of his new multimedia project Hillcrest. "You know, [to] work with artists locally that I just adore. So that was kind of the fundamental root of it."  

Hillcrest started with a couple of songs that Zemek wrote after his former band Soul Track Mind came to an end. "The first couple of songs that were written... started to lend themselves more to this... enveloping story," Zemek says. Along with producer Matt Smith, Zemek developed that emerging story into the concept for a graphic novel that would accompany the new album.

Pages